Delta community raises alarm over police allegedly releasing criminals after collecting money from them

- The people of Ughelli in Delta state are unhappy over police alleged

extortion and collecting money from criminals in the town

- The community people said following the action of the police,

criminals are now free to commit crime in the area

- But police authorities deny knowledge of the act saying they needed

evidence to substantiate the claims

Residents of Oteri and other communities surrounding Ughelli, an

ancient town in Delta state, have raised alarm over how police in 'A'

Division are trading with robbers, collecting money and releasing them

back to the community.


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The community members raised the alarm when a human rights group,

Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, led by Prince Kehinde

Taiga, carried a campaign against kidnapping, robbery, extortion and

other criminal activities to the area on Friday, April 7, 2017.

In a telephone interview with CAMPUSNAIJA.info after the rally, Prince

Taiga said the community members gave vivid account of how police

officers in 'A' Division allegedly extort money from the community

members and release criminals after arresting them back to the


"We got complaints from people when we

were campaigning that when they arrest

robbers and cultists, they will take them to

'A' Division, the police will release the armed

robbers and that is why cultism and armed

robbery are so rampant in Ughelli.

"The police will collect money and later release them. The armed

robber will come back to those who arrested them and tell them they

will deal with them. They have become afraid of arresting armed

robbers and cultists in Ughelli.

"The people at Oteri told us that some of the community chairmen are

protecting the cultists. We now told them that any time a cultist is

arrested and taken to police station, they should immediately alert us

so that we can come in and call the Police Area Commander.


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"They said some of the people have been arrested more than 10 times,

they were released as soon as they got to the police station, so they

are no longer afraid. People are no longer afraid to practice their

cultism and robbery because when they arrest them, they will be

released," Prince Taiga said.

According to him, the police collect between N30,000 and N50,000 from

the robbers and cultists and release them to go, adding that the

police will go back to the street and arrest innocent people coming

from work or farm, charge them to the police station and collect N5000

from them before releasing them.

Some of the community members who bared their minds to the human

rights group are Amos Oteri and Onos Edafe, who have been having

running battle with the police and the criminals in the area.

But the Area Commander of the Ughelli Division, Usman Ndanbabo, denied

the police involvement in the alleged complicity with criminals in the

Ughelli area.

According to Prince Taiga, Ndanbabo said he was not aware of such act

by officers at 'A' Division in Ughelli, saying any time anybody is

arrested, a report should be made to his office for proper monitoring

of the arrest and to prove the allegations against the officers.

He commended the Ughelli Area commander, noting that he was available

for them throughout the rally organized by Committee for the Defense

of Human Rights in Ughelli.

He added that Ndanbabo ordered his men to be on the escort and he also

participated in the rally, campaigning against illegal arrest,

extortion, cultism, kidnapping and other criminal activities in


"We carried awareness campaign against cultism, kidnapping, armed

robbery, police harassment, extortion, illegal arrest in Ughelli. The

Area Commander was on ground, he participated in everything we did.

But public relations officer of the Delta state police command, Andrew

Ani Amaka, also denied the allegation, saying as far as there is no

substantive case reported, it is difficult to prove the allegations

against the officers.

"Just give me one example. You should know these things as much as I

do. In this case in question, there should be the person alleging so

that we are not just talking in the air.

"We should have a case in point, an example to hold onto. This is just

like saying journalists are bad. How do you respond to that?

"Look, the police are the enforcers of human rights. Don't forget that

we are constitutionally mandated, not just to recognize but also to

protect the rights of people.


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"So, we should have a case in point. It should be at such and such a

time, such a person reported such a case to the police that A or B did

that. And then we know what we are investigating ," Ani Amaka told


Also, the group commended the traditional ruler of Abraka, HRM

Akpomeyoma Majoroh, chiefs of the community, Vice Chancellor of Delta

State University, Professor Victor Peretomode and the state police

command for making the rally a great success.

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